New Internationalist

Action

Issue 140

new internationalist
issue 140 October 1984

Ideas for Action

Dunamis
St James’s Church
197 Piccadilly
London W1V 9LF
UK Tel: 01- 437 6851

AIMS
To create a forum to explore both traditional and alternative approaches to the pursuit of international security: to examine the psychological, moral and spiritual links between personal security and the security of nations; and to hold up a vision of a more stable and just world than that represented by the two adversary blocs and to play a part in building bridges between the world’s Rich North and Poor South.

METHODS
As an educational foundation we organise public lectures and workshops, seminars and residential weekends. We record many of the lectures and sell them on cassette tape, and we publish occasional papers, articles and booklets. Within the churches we have a project on the Theology of Peacemaking, and will shortly publish two 80-page books on the subject. In Zimbabwe we are providing a training programme for four farming cooperatives in the areas of farm management, financial control and appropriate technology.

SUCCESSES
We are now quite well known among peace activists, academics, Christians of all denominations and in the British government and feel we have raised the level of the defence debate in Britain. We have certainly helped people of opposing views to talk to one another and find common ground. We are performing a useful educational function.

FAILURES
Even so, the debate is still polarised and over-simplified. On slender resources we still have much to do. In Zimbabwe we are experiencing difficulties and frustration as the projects gets off the ground, and we have yet to see what impact our Theology project will have. although the initial response has been most encouraging.

FUTURE PLANS
We hope to produce exhibition and educational material on the North/South divide, and initiate a social psychology project to explore our own unconscious predispositions to violence. There is always more scope for expansion.

HELP NEEDED
We welcome volunteers to help with our mailings, publicity and the promotion of our activities, especially the lecture programme at St. James’s Church.

 

CAA Tools Group

6 P 0 Box 876
Sydney
N S W 2001
Australia

AIMS
To collect, refurbish and despatch old hand tools including sewing machines, from Australia to island communities throughout the South Pacific. The establishment of the group was stimulated by the information received about the work of Tools for Self-Reliance (TFSR) in the UK

METHODS
A group of 10 volunteers meets once a month to clean and pack tools for transportation to the villages in need of basic hand tools. In addition, fund-raising activities are organised to help cover cost of freight to the communities. This is also covered by funds from Community Aid Abroad.

SUCCESSES
a) in the Solomon Islands, a furniture workshop was set up. producing school desks, benches, cupboards, etc.
b) in Vanuatu, the village of Euta on Tongoa Island has traditional wood carving workshops for the younger generations.
c) for both these places, women have organised themselves into sewing classes.
d) the above activities have helped to reverse the drift of youth to the city, by providing a local community focus.

FAILURES
Following reorganisation of the group in early 1984, we have not yet developed a steady supply of old-unused tools we need and which we are sure are ‘out there’ waiting to be collected.

FUTURE PLANS
To develop a network in Australia for the collection of old tools to send off to the Pacific Islands.

HELP NEEDED
We need to increase our supply of old tools to send off to the Pacific Islands. Tools such as: saws, files, chisels, clamps, sewing machines, planes, pinchers, pliers, oil stones, grindstones, gardening and brush clearing tools.

Please write to us if you have old tools and we will arrange to collect them. In addition, we would be very interested to hear from people thinking of setting up their own Tools Group.

 

Sahabat Alam Malaysia
(Friends of the Earth)
37 Lorong Birch,
Penang,
Malaysia Telephone: 376930

AIMS
To take up various issues related to development and the environment and its growing crisis in Malaysia; to work closely with communities that are affected by environmental degradation, farmers whose crops and lands are damaged by industrial pollution, fishermen whose livelihood is threatened by the depletion of fish resources, workers who suffer from health and safety problems at their workplace. To disseminate information and to educate the Malaysian public on the importance of a clean and healthy environment, and to preserve and conserve our natural resources.

To make representations to the government with affected communities through petitions, memoranda, press statements and reports.

METHODS
We conduct environmental education programmes in schools and institutions of higher learning, youth clubs, trade unions and other societies. We also hold exhibitions and workshops with films and slides. We publish various newsletters, reports and other publications. We organise campaigns which allow for public participation on issues pertaining to the environment. We link up with other NGOs and networks.

SUCCESSES
We have succeeded in providing representation at the community level on environmental issues and also in creating awareness and influencing management and policy decisions at the national level.

FAILURES
Lack of materials and resources to effectively work on issues and lack of development in environmental awareness in the country.

FUTURE PLANS
To produce an environmental handbook for schools and colleges for use as a supplement to their curriculum. To publish a series of reports on environmental issues and to organise environmental programmes at community level. We are part of an Asia-Pacific Network which links NGOs in these two regions and we hope to make this network effective.

HELP NEEDED
Plenty! Books or resource materials with relevance to the environment would be welcomed. To link up with active development and environment NGOs around the world.

This page of New Internationalist is written by the groups featured on it. The space is available free and a guide for writing entries can be obtained from New Internationalist 42 Hythe Bridge Street Oxford. OX1 2EP.

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